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Thread: UI Requests for v. 8

  1. #1

    UI Requests for v. 8

    so this is feature requests that are strictly within the narrow focus that has been stated in the newtek press release concerning lw 8.

    1. move the CONTENT DIRECTORY out of OPTIONS to under FILE!!! along with load, save, etc. That's where it rightly belongs and it should simply pop up a small dialogue.

    2. create a tab for PLUGINS in the main interface and have all the plugins reside there until reassigned. right now, having them all reside under CONSTRUCT>ADDITIONAL is less than intuitive.

    3. move edge smoothing out of SURFACE MENU! it rightly belongs as an object property - (it is NOT by definition need to reside as a surface property and there are many times when it is better when they are independent) but we don't have edges that can be tagged smooth/unsmooth as an object property. most consistent thing to do would be to create edge entities and then have EDGE MAPS (although this can perhaps internally be simply VMAPS with additional data?).


  2. #2
    oh and....

    1. consolidate all the GLOW ACTIVATION buttons into ONE FREAKING PLACE!!! i think that you have to turn it on in three disparate places right now to get glow on!

    2. strip the camera panel down of most of its settings that properly belong in RENDER settings.


  3. #3
    oh yeah,

    the ability to have a FIXED GRID SIZE so that it doesn't pop up and down while you zoom in and out.

    and the ability to have SNAP TO VISIBLE GRID POINTS.


  4. #4
    Hi jin,

    What's bothering you with the grid changing its size (in Modeler)? It's more practical than having a fixed grid size. Imagine you set you grid to a large size and then zoom in - you would rather soon loose sight of your grid.

    Grid snapping: You already kinda get this with standard snapping (since the grid will be adaptively resized), so what's the deal?

    As for you edges request: This doesn't make much sense to me since it will not improve workflow (even though this is the way it is handled in Maya). You see, even if it was there you would still have to select edges and assign them attributes. To me this is basically the same like selecting polys and assigning them different surfaces. I agree that having multiple surfaces that basically look the same but have different smoothing angles is sometimes a bit confusing, but i guess one can get used to it. For the renderer surely this will be no problem. It will just have to look up an additional VMap instead of calculating normals itself.

    [Pour Mylène, ange sur terre]

  5. #5

    well, unless you've encountered a problem with the workflow, you wouldn't see any need for change.

    but the simple fact that you haven't experienced the need doesn't make the requests any less valid.

    i would rather that i have the ability to fix a grid size so that when i ZOOM OUT to deal with more points, the grid remains fixed to the smaller size so that i could still VISIBLY snap multiple verts to the grid that i want - instead of popping larger and being unable to see the units i want.

    i don't want to impose this as a mandate... so people like you should still be able to get your way. but i want the OPTION to have it mine.

    as i said many times before, this is why EDGES make sense:

    1. we need the ability to WEIGHT EDGES for SUBDIVISION SURFACES. if you don't see why this is different from vertex weighting (which we do have), go read past posts and find out. it's different and it's valuable.

    2. the ability to select edges and mark them to smooth or unsmooth.

    for TV/FILM, you are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT: it is not NECESSARY. you can easily use multiple surfaces or simply unweld at the seams.

    however, for GAME ASSETS, neither is a very good solution. creating multiple surfaces that look the same just to get a hard edge creates overhead that is significant for game content. unwelding of verts is not desirable because it multiplies vert count and for some circumstances (like STENCIL BUFFER SHADOWS), it creates ERROR SITUATIONS because all the geometry that is affected by such shadows must be SOLIDS.

    also, it's simply an UNECESSARY RELATIONSHIP. you can have edges that are hard or soft independent of its material... so why embed this property in the material?

    it is not clean.

    3. every other app has edges. in this world where you can have multiple apps working with and across each other, it's not good business to make your app needlessly alien.

    my question is WHY NOT? why not give users edges? every reason against is tied to legacy and pragmatism - not to ideals.

    you might as well ask, "why give us the ability to select polys?" we can do everything we want with just VERTS! sure, a few things will be more difficult and we'll have to devise some workarounds (like dstorm's POLYTOOLS) but hey, we don't really need polys....

    in this world we live in, the STANDARD 3D ENTITIES that are the objects of manipulation and operations for almost every other app out there that deals with polys are:
    A. VERTS
    B. EDGES
    C. POLYS
    D. UVS

    we don't have entity D. either and because of that, we have to end up welding and unwelding all the time.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Bristol, UK
    I agree with Jin, these are features we really need, and SDS needs a boost - edge weighting is a must. Just look at what C4D is doing!

  7. #7
    Hi Jin, hi wizlon,

    I know the differences between edge and point weighting - I'm also a Maya user after all. It just wasn't obvious to me that for games it would matter to have extra edge attributes since I do not normally do any low poly stuff for such things.

    [Pour Mylène, ange sur terre]

  8. #8
    Jin, what camera settings do you think should be in the render options? Everything there directly affects the camera, I don't see why any of it should go in the render options.

  9. #9
    Well, actually a lot there doesn't belong to camera properties (in the strict technical sense). Anti aliasing and field settings are definitely render properties. I guess one more reason for an interface cleanup.

    [Pour Mylène, ange sur terre]

  10. #10
    I think AA should be in the camera panel because DOF and motion blur are camera properties that are directly affected by AA settings. Very nice when working with multiple cameras.

    I guess field options could go in the render panel, but it doesn't exactly clutter the interface and one could argue that it's specific to the camera, not the scene. Doesn't really matter to me.

  11. #11
    hey dave,

    actually, i couldn't disagree with you more.

    the ONLY attributes that are directly associated with the in scene camera are:
    0. Aspect Ratio (we don't have this)
    1. Zoom Factor (FOV)
    2. Aperture Height
    3. Stereo and DOF tab
    4. Mask Options

    everything else is properly a RENDER SETTING. the camera in a 3d scene is just a gizmo that determines what you're looking at. how things end up looking in the final render are all render properties.

    so for instance, you can determine a specific zoom factor and aspect ratio in the camera. but this is not essentially related to the RENDER RESOLUTION which can be determined independently in the render tab (though if an aspect ratio is determined in camera, the render settings will be multiples of....).

    so resolution, antialiasing, pixel aspect ratio... these are all most properly render properties.

    but don't just take my word for it. look at almost every other app out there. ours is a decidedly illogical way of organizing these settings.

    as for having multiple cameras, most of the time, the only thing that should change within a scene is the camera properties that i've outlined. how many times are you changing render resolution in a shot sequence?

    also, we currently don't have the ability to switch cameras during a single render session anyway apart from screamernet. and if you're using screamer net, you can set up multiple scenes for different cams anyway.

    although if they had the ability to independently set render settings for different cameras in the render tab, that would be okay by me.


  12. #12
    Originally posted by jin choung
    unwelding of verts is not desirable because it multiplies vert count and for some circumstances (like STENCIL BUFFER SHADOWS), it creates ERROR SITUATIONS because all the geometry that is affected by such shadows must be SOLIDS.
    While I love the idea of creating edges without unwelding a model (why should I have to unweld a box just to give it sharp edges?), I want to comment on the vertex count issue: Because an edge's visibility depends on having two different normals at each end of an edge, representing an edge requires that you either be able to specify more than one normal per vertex, or express each of the edge's endpoints as a pair of vertices, each with a different normal. I don't know about Direct3D, but in OpenGL it isn't possible to specify more than one normal per vertex. Therefore it's not possible to draw an edge in OpenGL without increasing the vertex count relative to the "welded" model.

    It should also be possible to determine solidity by treating vertices with identical values as if they were a single vertex (this is essentially what Lightwave does when looking for vertices to weld together).

    Of course, none of this is an argument against what you propose. It shouldn't be necessary to unweld a model to produce an edge, nor should it be necessary to weld / unweld a model to get welded / unwelded UVs.
    Last edited by Adrian Lopez; 04-30-2003 at 04:05 PM.

  13. #13
    howdy adrian,

    yah, i'm pretty sure that's how D3D does it too.... so in order to create a hard edge, the app does indeed have to consider the verts unwelded....

    but it may nonetheless consider a mesh whose verts are actually unwelded as being a problem... depending on how it's programmed. and i'm sure that exporters like deep exploration will not export the unwelded verts as 'hard edges' in converting to max or maya.

    in any case, it's better to have the option of tagging edges hard/soft.

    and it can be a pain to work on a mesh that you can't merge verts willy nilly because you have to maintain certain hard edges....


  14. #14
    Registered User amorano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Burbank, CA
    Originally posted by wizlon
    I agree with Jin, these are features we really need, and SDS needs a boost - edge weighting is a must. Just look at what C4D is doing!
    Nothing new here for LW. Dunno how long you have used the program, but weightmaps have been around a long time.

    That demo is merely modified sub-patch weights

  15. #15

    not [email protected]#$king again!!!!!! every time this topic comes up, there's somebody who comes in with the exact wrong info....

    how long have you used lw amorano?!?!

    there is a difference in what C4D is now doing with EDGE WEIGHTING as opposed to what lw does with VERTEX WEIGHTING!!!

    with edge weighting, you sharpen DIRECTIONALLY along the edge. with vertex weighting, you sharpen EVERY EDGE CONVERGING INTO THAT POINT!!! huge difference!

    edge weighting is useful for creating wrinkles and adjust curvature.... vertex weighting is decidedly less useful and pretty much allows you to make 'roundy facets'....


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